NEC develops first translation software on cellphone

Japanese electronics giant NEC Corp. said Friday it has created a world-first real-time translator on a cellphone, which can instantly turn Japanese travelers’ words into English



While this is interesting news to have translations available on a cellphone, the technology to have this software on similar-sized devices has already been around for at least 3 years or longer (people could buy electronic translators about the same size and price of a cellphone).

Only thing is that while this will help with very basic translations, it won’t help with ones beyond that. The translation field has tried for years to get machines to translate as well as humans and it’s never worked. There’s just too many variables in context, idiom, syntax a machine can’t be programmed for. I imagine this is why the development of same has largely stopped. While this will help with very basic words (and the Japanese person better hope the English speaker is rather clever and can piece all the missing words the translation won’t include), anything beyond a single word or very basic phrase here and there will be all the person can count on. :frowning:

I also notice that it avoids mentioning accuracy & settles for “common phrases”.